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Fatter Attraction: Anthropometric and Socioeconomic Matching on the Marriage Market

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  • Pierre-Andr� Chiappori
  • Sonia Oreffice
  • Climent Quintana-Domeque

Abstract

We construct a marriage market model of matching along multiple dimensions, some of which are unobservable, in which individual preferences can be summarized by a one-dimensional index combining the various characteristics. We show that, under testable assumptions, these indices are ordinally identified and that the male and female trade-offs between their partners’ characteristics are overidentified. Using PSID data on married couples, we recover the marginal rates of substitution between body mass index (BMI) and wages or education: men may compensate 1.3 additional units of BMI with a 1 percent increase in wages, whereas women may compensate two BMI units with 1 year of education.

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File URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/pdfplus/10.1086/667941
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File URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/full/10.1086/667941
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Political Economy.

Volume (Year): 120 (2012)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 659 - 695

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:doi:10.1086/667941

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References

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  1. John Cawley, 2000. "Body Weight and Women's Labor Market Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 7841, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Shimer, R. & Smith, L., 1997. "Assortative Matching and Search," Working papers 97-2a, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  3. Pierre-Andre Chiappori & Murat Iyigun & Yoram Weiss, 2006. "Investment in Schooling and the Marriage Market," DEGIT Conference Papers c011_034, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
  4. Euna Han & Edward C. Norton & Sally C. Stearns, 2009. "Weight and wages: fat versus lean paychecks," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(5), pages 535-548.
  5. Galichon, Alfred & Salanié, Bernard, 2010. "Matching with Trade-offs: Revealed Preferences over Competing Characteristics," CEPR Discussion Papers 7858, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Lundborg, Petter & Nystedt, Paul & Rooth, Dan-Olof, 2009. "The Height Premium in Earnings: The Role of Physical Capacity and Cognitive and Non-Cognitive Skills," IZA Discussion Papers 4266, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Banerjee, Abhijit & Duflo, Esther & Ghatak, Maitreesh & Lafortune, Jeanne, 2009. "Marry for What? Caste and Mate Selection in Modern India," CEPR Discussion Papers 7300, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Christian A. Gregory & Christopher J. Ruhm, 2009. "Where Does the Wage Penalty Bite?," NBER Working Papers 14984, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Linda Y. Wong, 2003. "Structural Estimation of Marriage Models," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(3), pages 699-728, July.
  10. Climent Quintana Domeque & Sonia Oreffice, 2010. "Anthropometry and socioeconomics in the couple: evidence from the PSID," Working Papers. Serie AD 2010-16, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
  11. Patrick Legros & Andrew F. Newman, 2003. "Beauty is a Beast, Frog is a Prince: Assortative Matching with Nontransferabilities," Economics Working Papers 0030, Institute for Advanced Study, School of Social Science.
  12. John Cawley, 2004. "The Impact of Obesity on Wages," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(2).
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